From Reader to Writer: Teaching Writing Through Classic Children's Books

Overview


As a child, Sarah Ellis made up plenty of stories but could never think of any when called upon in school. As an adult, she discovered a way to encourage children to express their creativity. The result is From Reader to Writer, a trove of suggestions and activities that use classic children’s literature to inspire and liberate kids’ imaginations. Each of the 17 chapters consists of an intriguing anecdote about an author, from Louisa May Alcott to Susan Cooper, that describes their childhood, what they read, and...
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Overview


As a child, Sarah Ellis made up plenty of stories but could never think of any when called upon in school. As an adult, she discovered a way to encourage children to express their creativity. The result is From Reader to Writer, a trove of suggestions and activities that use classic children’s literature to inspire and liberate kids’ imaginations. Each of the 17 chapters consists of an intriguing anecdote about an author, from Louisa May Alcott to Susan Cooper, that describes their childhood, what they read, and the sources for their books. Each anecdote leads into a writing activity, which can range from simple to sophisticated and can be adapted to different classroom situations. Letter and journal writing, wordplay, fantasy and riddles, and “story-starter” ideas are among the entertaining and original techniques for encouraging a young person to take up a pen and start writing.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Superb, outstanding, and creative are the words that come to mind after reading this book, which is designed to help educators and parents inspire children to write and read. Each chapter highlights a well-known children's book author by relating something from the past that may have motivated great works of literature. For example, the section on Katherine Paterson is entitled "On the Outside Looking In." As a school child, Paterson, who was a missionary kid, often felt like an outsider. The theme of being excluded frequently appears in her work, most notably in Bridge to Terabithia. Following the entries about each of the 16 authors, are suggestions to initiate writing activities, such as keeping a diary, collecting family stories, and creating imaginary creatures. For each suggestion, the author provides a variety of "springboard" questions to help imagination take flight. A list of books that inspired each children's book author is provided, as well as books in the same genre as those written by the authors. This book is a wonderful resource for creative writing classes. 2000, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre, $24.95. Ages 14 up. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
School Library Journal
The title does not adequately describe the wealth of information and inspiration included here. Yes, the book will certainly be useful for creative-writing activities; however, librarians will be thrilled with the connections that can be made from the books cited and unique ways to introduce their authors, ranging from C. S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll to Katherine Paterson and Monica Hughes. Beginning with endpapers that illustrate "The Book Wide Web," Ellis invites her audience to "inspire reading, writing, and/or talking" about books. Each chapter focuses on a specific writer. Through anecdotes, the personalities and events that helped shape these authors' professional lives are revealed. Librarians will be able to use the information for booktalking. All of the activities can build toward writing projects, but they also create interest in the books. Be certain teachers know about this title; they will make good use of the variety of ideas.-Mary Lankford, Texas Education Agency, Austin Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780888994400
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.59 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Ellis

Award-winning author Sarah Ellis grew up in a family that loved to share stories and read books. Passions that lead her to become a children's librarian and eventually to start writing books herself. Ellis's awards include the Governor General's Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. She lives in Vancouver, B.C.

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